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Alabama 482 articles

Auburn University study finds the BP oil spill may plague state for years to come

tar ball - WSFA

Oil and tar from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill is still trapped in the sand along Alabama’s Gulf beaches four and a half years later, a new study by Auburn University researchers has found. The study may not come as a surprise to the residents of coastal Alabama who frequent the beaches, but it does demonstrate that the oil from the BP disaster is not as quick to degrade as some scientists expected. It’s also another sign that Gulf Coast hasn’t returned to normal the way BP’s television ads have suggested. Many beachgoers might be surprised to find much of ... Read More

Defective Takata air bag inflators lead to second recall expansion by Chrysler amid safety worries

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

There is more drama stirring in the defective Takata air bag inflators situation as Chrysler announces its second recall expansion, this time of 208,783 vehicles, in one week. The expansion comes likely as a reaction from regulators like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which are following the issue closely. Since June, Chrysler has recalled more than 600,000 vehicles featuring the infamous Takata air bags due to reports that the defective Takata air bag inflators may explode, firing tiny metal fragments into drivers and passengers within the vehicle. Honda vehicles in areas of high humidity, such as Florida, have experienced ... Read More

Trinity guardrails to be independently tested after federal jury sides with whistleblower

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

Federal highway regulators said they will re-test a certain guardrail system model manufactured by Trinity Highway Products LLC after the company lost a whistleblower lawsuit last month and was ordered to pay the U.S. $175 million. The new crash tests of Trinity’s ET-Plus guardrails will be conducted at an independent lab in San Antonio, Texas, in mid-January. The results are expected by the end of February. The results of the tests will determine whether the government will reimburse states that continue to use the Trinity guardrails, although the manufacturer suspended sales of the ET-Plus shortly after the verdict against it in ... Read More

Dietary supplement for infants, children recalled due to fungal contamination

Recall - ABC Dophilus Powder Fungus

Solgar, Inc. ABC Dophilus Powder, a dietary supplement for infants and children, is being recalled after testing revealed the products were contaminated with a fungus that can cause potentially dangerous infections. ABC Dophilus Powder is a supplement containing acidophilus, a bacteria that supports the healthy functioning of the intestinal system by promoting a favorable environment for the absorption of nutrients. Testing conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) revealed the presence of Rhizopus oryzae in 1.75 ounce (50 g) containers of Solgar ABC Dophilus Powder, which may cause Mucormycosis, a rare infection. Those at greater risk of developing ... Read More

Honda expands exploding airbag recall again after deadly Malaysia accident

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Honda Motor Corp. has widened its recall of vehicles fitted with faulty airbags made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. by another 170,000 units. The announcement came after the company said that a driver died in Malaysia after being blasted with shrapnel from one of the defective airbags. The fatality in Malaysia was the fifth known record of a driver or passenger being killed by an exploding airbag in a Honda vehicle and the first such death to occur outside of the United States. The Takata airbags at the center of the Honda recall and recalls by 11 different other car ... Read More

UAB researchers to test hypertension drug as a cure for type 1 diabetes

diabetes_illus250x03

Researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will begin testing whether a drug used to treat high blood pressure could be effective in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Two years ago, researchers tested the drug verapamil, known by the brand names Calan, Verelan and Covera-HS, on laboratory mice and found that it could lower blood sugar levels but in some cases could even reverse the disease. Verapamil is a calcium channel blocker indicated for the treatment of hypertension, severe chest pain and arrhythmia. It is the only drug on the market that works to keep the pancreas’ ... Read More

U.S. safety probe leads to Honda recall expansion over dangerous Takata air bags

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Following reports of a U.S. safety probe being placed on the automaker, Honda has announced an expansion to its previous recall of vehicles containing potentially dangerous Takata Corp air bags. The air bags in question, which have been responsible for multiple deaths and injuries, are prone to deploy with excessive force, blasting metal fragments into the car’s interior. The amount of cars Honda has added to its recall is undisclosed; however, all the vehicles are from model years 2001-2006 and were sold/registered in areas with high humidity. According to Takata, humid areas are where the affected vehicles are the most ... Read More

Feds order Takata to hand over exploding airbag communications, documents

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) ordered Japanese automotive supplier Takata Corp. to hand over internal documents by December 1 and answer questions under oath about the defective airbags it made for installation in millions of vehicles. Takata’s airbags, which 10 auto manufacturers have installed in more than 17 million vehicles worldwide, are prone to deploy with excessive force, blasting metal fragments into the car’s interior. The defective devices have been linked to at least four deaths and several injuries. NHTSA regulators have been investigating Takata’s defective airbags since June, focusing on the inflator mechanisms in airbags made from 2000 to ... Read More

Lawmakers target Takata, NHTSA, automakers with scathing inquiries into exploding airbags

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Federal auto safety regulators have again fallen under sharp criticism for their handling of exploding air bags made by Japanese supplier Takata. The defective airbags, which have been installed in millions of U.S. vehicles, are prone to deploying with excessive force, blasting metal shrapnel through the vehicle’s interior, sometimes with deadly consequences. On Thursday Senators Richard Blumental (D-CT) and Edward Markey (D-Mass) planned to send “a sternly worded letter,” The New York Times reported, scolding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its lackadaisical handling of the Takata airbag recalls. Specifically, the lawmakers want to know why NHTSA is ... Read More

Remove Trinity guardrails from nation’s highways, Connecticut senator tells federal safety officials

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is urging the federal government to remove and replace potentially deadly guardrails along highways throughout the nation after a whistleblower suing a leading guardrail manufacturer won a jury verdict of $175 million. Sen. Blumenthal says the Federal Highway Administration neglected to investigate alterations Trinity Industries made in its ET-Plus guardrail system nearly a decade ago. That change, whistleblower Josh Harman alleged in his False Claims Act lawsuit against the company, altered the guardrails’ performance when struck, making them behave more like giant deadly spears than lifesaving devices. “Nearly every state has them, and the Federal Highway ... Read More